Scotland poised to welcome Vogts as new coach

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The Independent Football

The Scottish Football Association's chief executive, David Taylor, is hoping that Berti Vogts will publicly confirm tomorrow that he is to take over as Scotland's new manager at the end of the month.

The SFA has reached a compensation agreement with the Kuwaiti football federation, which has agreed to terminate Vogts' contract as national coach by 28 February, leaving the 55-year-old free to take over from Craig Brown after that date. "Vogts may hold a press conference on Friday, but this has got to be finalised," said Taylor yesterday.

The draw for Euro 2004 has already pitched Scotland into the same group as Vogts' homeland, Germany, who he coached from 1990 to 1998. During that time he built a reputation for a cautious brand of football, but it did not take long after Scotland's failure to qualify for the World Cup, and Brown's subsequent departure, for the German's name to emerge as a front-runner.

In January, Vogts admitted he was "very interested" in taking over as Scotland manager, but said he would not be able to take over until February at the earliest. At the time he said: "At the end of January I will be ready to speak to the SFA, or maybe they will come to see my manager."

Negotiations between the SFA and his agent in Switzerland did take place. But the Kuwaitis maintained no negotiations between the two federations would take place until the Gulf Cup tournament was completed.

Kuwait failed to sparkle in that competition and there was even speculation that Vogts would be sacked. But that did not happen and the Kuwaitis insisted on a compensation package for an early release from the German's contract, which was due to expire on 31 August.

Vogts stepped up to replace Franz Beckenbauer as German national coach after their triumphant Italia 90 World Cup campaign. But he could do nothing to prevent Denmark winning the European Championship in 1992 and two years later a lacklustre German side lost disappointingly to Bulgaria in the quarter-finals of USA 94.

The Germans then won Euro 96 in England, but could not perform at the 1998 World Cup and were beaten by Croatia in the last eight.

Vogts then returned to club management and took Bayer Leverkusen to fourth in the Bundesliga before leaving in May last year to commence a one-year contract as the Kuwaiti national team coach.

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